Access to quality and affordable care a must to prevent neonatal deaths

“Everyone should have a clear-cut healthcare savings goal every month”

New Delhi, December 26, 2018:

An estimated 30 million newborns require specialized care in hospital every year without which many either die or develop preventable health conditions and disabilities that affect them for life, according to a recent study by a global coalition that includes UNICEF and WHO. The report urges countries to invest in healthcare to prevent neonatal deaths among the most vulnerable newborns — the small and the sick.

The report underlines that universal access to quality care could prevent 1.7 million neonatal deaths, or 68% of the deaths that will otherwise occur in 2030. It calls upon countries to provide round-the-clock inpatient care for newborns seven days a week and invest in training health workers, dedicated equipment and infrastructure.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Health perhaps was never one of the primary points in India’s political agenda. The country has always seen out-of-pocket spending as a norm even as public hospitals make healthcare challenging for those whose voice cannot be heard. Given the large number of people still living below the poverty line, affordability of quality healthcare needs to be addressed by looking at both sides of the equation: the cost of delivery and the ability to pay for it. Insurance is an altogether different subject of debate. Apart from providing access to affordable and quality healthcare, there is an urgent need for the government to ensure a centralized health savings scheme with a centralized fund management. This will ensure bring services to a larger segment of the society and help in realizing the goal of healthcare for all.”

Universal health coverage means good quality health care that is Available, Accessible, Affordable and Accountable.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “While quality of care is always preferred, it may not always be feasible because it can increase the cost of treatment. What should then be the focus? Every hospital or health care establishment must try to improve and maximize quality within the resources that are available to them and with the best use of those resources. Poor quality service indicates poor utilization of resources. Both quality and affordability need to be balanced, especially in a country like ours, which has one of the highest out of expenditures on health in the world.”

Some medical expense planning tips from HCFI

  • Set a clear-cut savings goal every month. Use this only for the medical expenses.
  • Keeps these savings accessible and readily available for a crisis.
  • Just as a car needs maintenance, staying healthy requires maintenance too. Make sure you do not skip monthly check ups. This corpus can also aid in that.

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